Page 1

Ms APRIL 7, 2013


Fashion inspired by Baroque



Do you know how to fend off a harasser? Read our expert tips on dealing with harassment



inside drama mama —

Siblings are your only best friends who will stick around forever

domestic goddess —

Indulge yourself in a classic creamy dessert


page Section In-Charge: Batool Zehra Send your feedback to

Nadir’s raw appeal



the buzz


Of denials,


harrasment by Nida Ameen

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

It’s another weekday morning and you’re ready to face the day. You step into your office, cheerfully greeting coworkers across a line of desks while making your way to your cubicle when suddenly you are stopped midway by a rather awkward hug from your senior colleague. This is followed by an unduly appreciative once over: “You look gorgeous,” he says, prompting you to give yourself a quick glance and see if you are dressed appropriately. Your morning is spoilt and the day is no better: full of awkward ‘sweeties,’ perplexing ‘darlings’ and off-colour jokes. All this makes it hard for you to focus on work but well, it’s his habit and so you let it go.

Struggling with differential equations in your math class, you raise your hand for the teacher’s assistance. Your teacher is prompt and walks straight towards you. However, while explaining the sum, he leans far too much on you, his arm circling you. You feel a bit weird but quickly try and understand the sum to get it over with. As you get your answer right, you’re ‘rewarded’ with a pat/‘rub’ on your back by your mentor. You walk out of the class feeling shaken and violated, but then you laugh it off with your friends.

If your boss asks you for favours in return for a promotion while you’re left wondering if you’re at fault or if your colleague’s vulgar jokes are making you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to stop living in denial and start considering the possibility that you are being sexually harassed. Some might confuse sexual harassment with rape or abuse but harassment constitutes offences which are less serious and can be anything from a mere gesture or text message to a physical assault. The Alliance Against Sexual Harassment defines harassment as “any unwelcome advance, request for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when it interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.” So while a certain behaviour may well be your senior’s personality trait, if it makes you feel stressed and deprives you of your rightful position at work, it counts as an offence under the Protection from Harassment at Workplace Bill. The problem with sexual harassment is that it

does not seem like ‘a big deal’ — a brush in the hallway, a lewd remark, a vulgar gesture — at first a victim may feel that there is hardly anything to report. Depending on your personality and the seriousness of the harassment, your reaction may range from annoyance to serious humiliation. But, because these things impinge on your personal space and affect your performance at work, with time, you find that you’re avoiding going into certain areas, speaking up in meetings and even bypassing opportunities for growth just to keep away from the harasser. This is when the gravity of the situation hits you. Still, you wonder, is it worth speaking up about? To some women, this might seem like the quickest way to call their own reputation into question. Some of the questions that can come up once she complains are: “Why did she wear what she was wearing?” “Why did she meet him in the first place?” And, of course, the inescapable “She must have done something to provoke him.” Maliha Hussain, the director of Mehergarh, a centre for human rights education and support says, “Sexual harassment is a stigmatised issue in Pakistan. Women who dare to speak out are often blamed for inviting and encouraging men because they were either dressed ‘inappropriately’ or were ‘too friendly.’ On the other hand, the behaviour of men is often taken for granted: men are like that. It is a woman’s job to protect herself and be able to prevent sexual harassment.” Although Pakistan is the only South Asian country with a law against sexual harassment, it is still considered valid sport for men rather than a



serious crime. In some spheres such as hospitals and the aviation industry, harassment is institutionlised. In 2009, a senior anchorperson at Dunya News caused a stir when she accused a senior representative of management at Dunya TV for continuously harassing her and asking her for favors in return for a promotion. Nosheen Abbass reported the incident in The Huffington Post but despite all the hype, the inquiry was delayed and the anchorperson eventually had to resign from her post. WIDESPREAD


of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in both the public and private sector

Unlike her, most women choose to stay silent, especially those who belong to conservative backgrounds and fear that if they complain their permission to step out in the professional world will be withdrawn. This also means that harassment has serious repercussions on the participation of women in the work force. According to a research study conducted by Dr. Sadaf Ahmad and published by Mehergarh, a stunning 93% of women in the public and private sectors have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment — this means that most of the women you know have been harassed at some point in their lives. Of these, 76% women have never bothered reporting the incident. So what do you do when something like this happens to you — bearing in mind that chances are high that it will? • Be aware. A sexual harassment law now exists in Pakistan under which the accused, if proven guilty by a court of law, will be sentenced to three years of jail. Moreover, it is now mandatory for every registered company to form a three-member inquiry committee with at least one woman on board to investigate such acts. If you are a victim, know that you have recourse to justice, rather than despairing or choosing to withdraw from your job. • Do not delay reporting the crime. Some women report the offence only after a lot of thinking but if a considerable time has elapsed, it will be that much harder to prove the crime. By its very nature, sexual harassment is hard to prove in the first place so delaying reporting can make it even more difficult. Mahnaz Rahman, resident director of Aurat Foundation in Karachi says, “Men know tactics to escape these situations, especially when they know that the woman is timid and submis-

sive. For example, in the office they might walk past you deliberately touching you but they will display it as an unconscious mistake and there is no way to prove that it wasn’t one.” • Be confident. Is this just in your head or is he actually harassing you? If it’s a senior colleague or teacher with a respectable public image, it can be hard to believe that this is happening. Remember that ‘private harassers’ often cultivate a public image which is at odds with how they will behave in private with you. • Do say “NO!” If a colleague is behaving inappropriately, and you are unsure whether it’s deliberate, speak up and tell him that the behaviour is unwanted. This is better than mulling over your fears. Not only does this gives him a chance to correct his behaviour (assuming that it has not been deliberate) it also makes your case stronger in case he continues acting aggressively. • Do not appear submissive or scared to the aggressor. This can contribute towards the promotion of sexual harassment and lead on the harasser. “Silence will only make the harasser feel like he has complete power over you or mislead him into assuming that you are equally interested,” says Hussain. • Do not smile when you say “NO!” Women often find it hard to say no and are likely to soften their refusal by smiling or similar gestures. You are unlikely to discourage your aggressor this way. There is a certain body language that needs to be adopted in order to tackle such advances: firm voice, serious face, strong posture and a very clear message that tells the culprit that you will not let it pass next time. • If you are uncertain about whether you are being harassed or if the harassment is hard to prove or such that you are unsure if it is criminal, maintain a diary of what is happening. Maliha Hussain says, “Women who come across such awkward situations repeatedly must maintain a log of who said what and where and how it made them feel so that at any time that they decide to file a formal complaint, the information comes in handy.”

If it’s a senior colleague or teacher with a respectable public image, it can be hard to believe that this is happening

• Do tell someone about your experience. “It is very important to confide in somebody when you face harassment of any kind. Share it with somebody you trust so that person can act as a witness later to support your case if needed,” says Maliha Hussain. This way you have one person who is aware of what you are going through and can testify against the harasser; it can also give you moral support during a difficult time. • Do not delete evidence. If you have received inappropriate texts, tweets or emails, do not delete them. ReUNDER REPORTING


of women have never reported a sexual harassment incident ply to them with a firm “NO” and save the evidence for when you report the offence. Apart from the fear of losing your freedom and reputation, there are also no guarantees of security and protection from the harasser. Just last month, a female pilot at PIA, appeared before the Supreme Court accusing the higher management of continuously harassing and victimising her. She complained that ever since she reported on the unacceptable behaviour of two male colleagues, the higher management began deliberately targeting her and creating hurdles in her promotion. She added that victimising female employees was common practice in the national organisation. This incident shows that, despite having a legal mechanism in place, there are still numerous loopholes that need to be filled, starting from widespread implementation of the law to developing faith in the integrity of law and order institutions. The day men are afraid of being punished severely will also be the day when women will feel safer filing a complaint.



en vogue


Baroque Opul From the Era of

With delicate and shimmery golden embellishments and Arabic-inspired cuts, Nadya Mistry offers a modern twist to the desi bridal wear in her latest couture collection

Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Hair and make-up: Raana Khan Designer: Nadya Mistry Photography and styling: Ayaz Anis Model: Marvi Sarfraz






drama mama


Brothers Hiba Masood is a stay-at-home mother to fouryear-old Beta and one-year-old Beti. Writing about parenting affords her time away from actually doing it

and Sisters There’s really nothing quite like siblings


I was in the middle of composing the most selfpitying, miserable text ever to Hums about how awful it is to be sick while the kids are also sick and that he should just come home even though it was only 11am, when Baji called: “Get ready. We’re coming to pick you up. Spend the day at my place.” Baji is not only my sister but also my best friend. She has four kids, and I’m convinced she tells them to play extra loudly before she calls me so I can feel better about having only two. They’re among my favourite children in the world, but they’re very EXCITED children, and when they play they always do so at high volumes and with things around them crashing and catching fire. If we were to spend the day at my sister’s house, we could surely look forward to a day of thunderous fun. This was not only enjoyable but extremely beneficial for my kids, who are otherwise inclined towards quiet, solitary play. Hanging out with Baji’s kids forced Beta and Beti out of their mental shells, drew them away from their comfort zones and exposed them to a uniquely active and imaginative form of recreation. Beta is exactly a year older than Baji’s third kid and Beti is twelve days older than her youngest, so we raise all six of them sort of like siblings. Is there any relationship more expansive and more formative than that of siblings? I want all these kids to be close, super-best-friends — always-

there-for-each-other, close. I want them to have the kind of comfort that comes with having shared a lifetime of experiences together, and I want it to last forever because I believe with my very core that the kind of solace and growth they will derive from this relationship is unmatched by any other. Maybe my hope for them has more to do with my own feelings towards my sister and brother than any consideration of my children’s for their cousins. I consider my siblings to be two of the smartest, kindest people I have ever known. Through the interests they pursue, the books they read and the conversations they hold, they have introduced me to different worlds of thought that I might never have encountered on my own. I know they always have my back even when I don’t even know that having my back is needed. And whenever I have been too scared to do something, they have given me the encouragement/bullying that I needed. But if siblings are the ones who force you out of your comfort zone, they are also the ones most respectful of your particular passions. At Baji’s house, while rifling through a drawer, Beta discovered a

bag full of colorful little plastic circles. He, being the brainy little boy that he is, was absolutely enamoured. Oh, the mathematical possibilities! “They are actually math manipulatives,” explained Baji. Those circles did nothing for her kids, since you can’t throw/bounce/toss/jump over them. I’m sure according to Beta this was further proof that those kids have absolutely no taste in entertainment, because, if organising hundreds of tiny circles in intricate multiples of seven didn’t appeal to you, nothing would. He spent the rest of the evening arranging and rearranging those circles into complex patterns and his cousins were understanding enough to leave him alone while he did. People say that when siblings are exceptionally close, it is a testament to their parents having raised them well. This thought makes me appreciate my parents and the wonderful family they created for me, my brother and my sister. But as a parent, I often don’t feel as though I’m raising Beta and Beti well. My siblings have been a comfort here too because, to this day, my parenting doubts, disasters, joys and triumphs are bounced off them, and sharing this

People say that when siblings are exceptionally close, it is a testament to their parents having raised them well

by Hiba Masood

journey with them is both fun and a great support. We stuck around that day long enough to bring in the purple light of dusk, for Hums to join us, for a delicious dinner to be served, and for Baji to subsequently whip up a batch of rasmalai. (I really admire the fact that she has all the ingredients on-hand and can present to us a bowl of chilled, milky happiness in just an hour. Yet another way in which she is superior to me). So we gorged on that for a while and then had a few rounds of minty green tea, too. Eventually we left because Baji stopped feeding us. We loaded in the car and drove away as my sister, her husband and kids stood waving to us in their doorway. I love my sister. And my brother too, even though he hasn’t fed me in a while (understandable, since he lives in another country). I guess what I am trying to say is that having family nearby is something I seriously appreciate right now. There’s really nothing quite like a sibling, is there? Who else is going to come pick you and your sick kids up on a Tuesday afternoon and then keep you for dinner too? Who else is going to make you fluffy, sweet rasmalai right when you crave it? Who else is going to have a baggie full of colorful little plastic circles just lying around which fits perfectly into your purse when nobody is looking?

domestic goddess 7



Banoffee Pie

Flawless combination of bananas and homemade toffee — absolutely delicious! Method

Shafia Agha works as a PR consultant and runs a food blog: gobblemywords. She loves trying out new recipes. Follow her on GobbleMyWords and @ shafiaagha

1. Mix the biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl. 2. Line the base of a springform tin with the above mixture using a spoon. Make sure that the mixture is half way up on the sides of the tin in order to make a pie shell. 3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. 4. Take a non-stick saucepan and add butter and sugar to it. Melt the butter and sugar on low heat, stirring continuously till the sugar has dissolved completely. 5. Now add condensed milk to the butter and sugar mixture and bring to a rapid boil for about a minute. Stir repeatedly until the mixture turns into a thick golden caramel form.

Ingredients for the biscuit base:

6. Spread the caramel over the biscuit base and refrigerate for another hour till the base is firm and ready to serve. 7. Carefully lift the base off the tin and place it on a serving plate. 8. Slice the bananas and line them on top of the base.

Butter melted 100 gms

Digestive biscuits crushed 250 gms

Ingredients for the filling:

9. Decorate it with whipped cream and finish off by dusting some cocoa powder on top.

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes Serves 6 people

Dark brown sugar 100gms

Bananas 3 whole

Condensed milk 1 tin (397gms)

Butter melted 100 gms

Whipped Cream

Cocoa powder for dusting


hottie of the week 8

Status Born

Married to Maha Burney Karachi, Pakistan





Nadir Firoz Khan



Who is he?

One of the most sought-after photographers in the Pakistani fashion industry, Nadir Firoz Khan has soared to the heights of success in a rather short time. With a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design from the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture and mentoring from the popular director Asim Raza, he is set to go places. Just recently, he swept us off our feet with his stunning lawn photo shoots. His photo shoot for Sania Maskatiya’s debut lawn collection had models posing on sandy dunes — we wouldn’t mind covering Nadir with sand ourselves!



Why we love him Nadir defies the stereotype of the lanky art geek — with a buff bod and a passion for playing cricket and volleyball, he is more of a high school jock who decided to toy with a camera rather than a girl’s feelings. He loves sports and is an avid follower of football, cricket and tennis. “I could only dream of being a sportsman! Unfortunately the talent was severely lacking,” he jokes. A man who’s good at what he does gets admiration from us any day and there is no denying Nadir’s considerable talent. He made actor Humaima look swoon-worthy in the Nida Azwer lawn shoot, with poses so natural and elegant they were a breath of fresh air. We’ll admit that we’re jealous but we can’t also help admiring the creative duo that he forms with wife stylist Maha Burney. Working together, they seem to bring out the best not only in each other but in the models that they work with too!

What you didn’t know about him Nadir is heavily inspired by music and believes that as a visual artist, music has helped immensely in giving his visual vocabulary a direction. A real aristocrat, he loves French food — that must mean a lot of nights at Café Flo for Maha! He may appear laidback but, he says, “I’m a bit OCD at home.” Guess what he had to say about his ideal woman? “I didn’t knew she existed until I met my wife Maha.”

Total Package


The Express Tribune hi five - April 7  

The Express Tribune hi five for April 07th 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you